Senators News: August 3rd

-The Sens have re-signed Stephane Da Costa yesterday, although the official contract details are still pending.  It’s a one-year deal and there’s no reason to doubt Nichols assumption that it’s a two-way contract.  I have to echo Nichols’ comments in reaction to it as they are spot on:

HIs AHL production has been good, but not overwhelming. This is now a player who turned 24 in early July, and by and large if you’re not a dominant AHL forward by that age your chance of making it as a top-six forward in the NHL is small.  The Senators organization does not lack depth or prospects, so health permitting, Da Costa desperately needs a strong offseason to show that he’s serious about his future and working himself back in the mix for a promotion. Otherwise, it won’t be surprising to see him follow Nikita Filatov’s path to Europe where the allure of a higher base salary may be too difficult to pass up.

The other element the signing re-emphasizes is the glut of forwards the Sens will have in Binghamton.  Ottawa was willing to have two prospects (Louie Caporusso and Darren Kramer) spend a lot of time in the ECHL, but even Kramer didn’t hit 20 the game mark with Elmira, so I continue to believe that a small move will happen before the AHL season begins.

Mark Borowiecki talked about his failed transition to the NHL this past season:

I think I have my defensive side down, but I think the big thing now is having more confidence with the puck. I know what I can do and I’m sure management knows, too.  Obviously the game is different up here. It’s a bit quicker and there’s more structure, but you have to stick to your strengths and try to play your game. For me, it’s just a matter of time and sorting a few things out. But I hope it’s sooner rather than later. I’m working real hard on the things I need to work on this summer and hoping to make a good showing and we’ll see what happens. It’s not really for me to decide. If I stick, I stick. If I don’t, (Binghamton coach) Luke (Richardson’s) done a great job down there. It’s a pretty positive environment to play in. But no one comes into training camp thinking they’re going to go down. It’s always a goal to make the team, and you never know.

The main issue for Borowiecki at the next level is confidence with the puck.  I don’t think this coming season will see him in Ottawa (barring injuries), but his one-way contract for the following season is an indication that the organisation expects him to be ready then.

Adnan makes the case that Chris Neil is an integral part of the Sens:

That’s judging by the net effect of scoring and preventing goals. That’s not what hockey what is about. Hockey is about how much you want to score and prevent goals. So what if Neil could be easily replaced in hockey matters if he decided to retire tomorrow? So what if he has questionable decision making and doesn’t have the highest intelligence on the ice? Hockey is a business but it is also entertainment. If we as fans are more entertained with Chris Neil than someone that can better help the team win, then maybe it is okay. Chris Neil is not the best option for the Ottawa Senators in winning games. At his cost, he is easily replaceable and bettered in things that matter for winning hockey games. He does have intangibles for sure. But those intangibles aren’t hidden traits that help the Senators win games. The intangibles are reasons why Joe from Arnprior will call the local radio station after a 3-2 loss in which Jason Spezza scored two goals but missed the open net late in the third period. Thus it was still Spezza‘s fault. The Senators may have lost, but they had Chris Neil and he tried his very best. Certainly more than anyone else. That’s good enough for Joe and many other Senators fans.

This is pretty funny and encapsulates not just the attitudes of those matching his hypothetical Sens fan, but also (seemingly) most of the journalists who cover the team.

-I have no idea why teams continue to give Jay Bouwmeester fat, long-term contracts.  Just like every other organisation he plays with, the Blues will wind up regretting the deal.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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